Marco Beasley & Marco Mencoboni

Torquato Tasso: prodigy and celebrated poet, but also a tormented lunatic who never earned a penny with his most famous work, La Gerusalemme liberata. Until the beginning of the 20th century Tasso was one of the most widely read poets in Europe. Born performer Marco Beasley reads from his oeuvre, breathing new life into it.

Tasso’s best-known poems appeared at a great moment when music, influenced by composers such as Monteverdi, Gesualdo and Marenzio, underwent a genuine transformation in Italy. The mellifluous melodies and sensual melancholy of, for example, Aminta, are hand in glove with the contemporary spirit of the age. Until two centuries after his death Tasso’s influence on the opera and the cantata was perceptible. A rediscovery is in order! We celebrate this occasion at the studio of Peter Paul Rubens, who at the court of Mantua most probably met our festival star Monteverdi.